What was Broadway’s economic impact on NYC in 2010-11?

$11 Billion Dollars.  Which is up 9% from the year before!

Boo ya!

Our friends and data crunchers at the Broadway League released their annual “Economic Contribution” report yesterday and the results were pretty staggering.  Rather than paraphrase the report, let me just give it to you straight by quoting the Executive Summary:

During the 2010-11 season, Broadway as an industry contributed $11.2 billion to the NYC economy.

This amount was comprised of direct spending by producers to mount and run shows, spending by theatre owners to maintain and renovate venues, and ancillary purchases by “Broadway Tourists” (defined as non-NYC residents who said that Broadway was a very important reason in their coming to New York City).

The money that was directly spent in these areas was then re-spent in multiple subsequent rounds.

The full contribution of Broadway tourists amounted to $9.0 billion, shows contributed $2.2 billion, and theatres contributed $22.3 million for a total of $11.2 billion on NYC’s economy.

This represents a 9% increase from the 2008-2009 season (in constant dollars).

Pretty amazing, right?

Broadway pumped in 11 billion bucks into the economy.  And Producers alone were responsible for 20% of that!  (I feel like the city should give Producers free meter parking for that kind of spending.)

Ok, so maybe free parking isn’t going to happen.  But hopefully our fair city will start to show a little more reciprocity for what Broadway and all of its Producers, Investors and Shows do to help keep it running.  I don’t want to sound like a spoiled brat, because we do get some decent help from the city . . . but with these kind of numbers and with the risks as high as they are for producing Broadway shows, don’t you think we should get just a little bit more?

Like what, you say?  What about . . .

– Tax breaks for investors
– Sales tax breaks for shows
– Free “SEE A BROADWAY SHOW” advertising on city owned property
– More politicians seeing Broadway shows
– Etc

And when I say ETC, that is a call for you to insert your ideas in the comment section below.

What more could the city do to give back to Broadway for all that Broadway gives to it?  Comment below!  And maybe, just maybe, Bloomberg will be googling “How do I get tickets to Godspell” and stumble on my blog and be inspired to do something.

Or maybe I’ll just send this blog to him directly . . . just in case.  🙂

Give me your city wish list in the comments below!


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  • Make twofer and discount coupons available in city offices. And posters. And display cases with interesting three-dimensional items from current shows–maybe even models of sets. Kind of a mini-Broadway museum in places that you wind up having to go to deal with the city.

  • Sue says:

    Send extra cabs to the theater district when the shows let out. And, clear a Broadway-Express-Exit path to the Lincoln Tunnel. When we Jerseyans want to get home, we want to get home!

    I’m dreading the temporary but lengthy closure of parking at the Port Authority. From there one can get right into the tunnel. Do producers even know about this bit of nastiness, coming your way soon?

  • Carl says:

    Any new construction of large office or residential buildings in or near the theater district should have a zoning requirement that mandates a lower floor or two of space be set aside for the arts — subsidized by profits the owners makes on the building. Think Mitchell Lama except for theater.

  • David says:

    My memory is that back in 2009 the Governor proposed taxing Broadway ticket sales (about an extra 8%, I think). I like the idea of sales tax cuts much better 🙂

  • Brendan Dahill says:

    Give the producers rent breaks on the theatres. If the producers are paying a base rate plus a percentage of the gross ticket sales to theatre owners, reduce the percentage and\or lower the base. They should also get rid of the “theatre restoration fees” if they aren’t going to explain where that money goes.

  • The larger the cast & production team, the better the tax break for producers. Reward the job-creators!

    I do however like the idea of a 10-11pm express lane to the Lincoln tunnel… I wouldn’t make much use of it, but I imagine it would be popular (if even possible).

  • Randy says:

    Grammatical pet peeve note for the number crunchers at the League:

    “This amount was composed of direct spending by producers…” or “This amount comprised direct spending by producers…”

    But, to be fair, I’m certain my math skills would cause some sad head shaking among the accountants.

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